We've previously highlighted 11 great ecommerce checkouts, and now it's time to see which brands have managed to create top notch, user-friendly mobile checkouts.

Given the disparity between conversion rates on desktop compared to mobile, it's perhaps understandable that retailers might put more effort into optimising their desktop checkout.

However as mobile conversions are so hard to come by, you really need to make their purchase journey as comfortable as possible. 

These are by no means the very finest mobile checkouts in the world, and I'd actually be interested to read your nominations should you wish to add them in the comments section.

But these retailers have proved to be better than most when it comes to mobile checkout design.

Firstly, here are the criteria I look for...

  • Speed. Mobile users don't have a lot of patience and, if using 3G, might have a slow internet connection. Therefore speed is of the essence.
  • No forced registration. Forcing new users to create an account is proven to cause basket abandonment, and this problem will only be magnified on mobile.
  • Security reassurance. Research shows that many people are wary of entering card details on mobile, so retailers should make efforts to reassure their customers.
  • Easy form filling. It's incredibly fiddly to fill in forms on a mobile, so sites should make it as easy as possible. This means big text fields and big buttons.
  • Progress indicators. A progress indicator helps reassure shoppers that the checkout process will be over soon.
  • Remove distractions. In the event that someone actually wants to buy something on your mobile site it's a good idea to allow them to focus on the task in-hand, so remove all distractions and superfluous links.

And now, here are the retailers...

AO.com

As a simpleton with fat thumbs, I like mobile checkouts to have large text fields and massive buttons.

AO.com doesn’t let me down. The buttons are huge.

                

AO.com also scores points for keeping form filling to a minimum, accepting alternative payment methods and allowing users to select their delivery time and date from a dropdown menu.

All-in-all it’s one of the most user-friendly checkouts that I’ve seen.

Crate & Barrel

Big buttons and big text fields, this is what I love about Crate & Barrel’s mobile checkout.

It also uses a numerical keypad for phone numbers.

                 

One criticism would be that there isn’t a progress bar so users don’t know how many stages are left in the checkout process.

Topshop

Topshop has a clean and simple checkout with a prominent progress bar so users know exactly where they are in the whole process.

There is also a guest checkout option, postcode lookup tool and numerical keypads when relevant.

                 

However the design could be improved by making the buttons bigger and by removing an unnecessary form that appears prior to payment screen so users can confirm their billing address.

Wiggle

I recently reviewed Wiggle’s checkout design in a post comparing some of the UK’s top cycling brands.

In my opinion there needs to be more variety in the colour scheme, as if everything is orange then nothing stands out.

This is an even bigger problem on mobile, as the size of the screen makes it even more difficult for CTAs to gain any visibility.

Asking for an email address upfront might also put some users off.

                 

Even so, the checkout process is short and requires a minimum amount of form filling. It also has a postcode lookup tool and uses a numerical keypad when entering phone numbers.

Wiggle also accepts PayPal, which may help to increase conversions among shoppers who are wary of entering card details on mobile. 

John Lewis

Asking for an email address upfront is a potential flaw, however there’s much to admire about John Lewis’ checkout.

It has a clean, uncluttered layout, plenty of space for fat thumbs, progress bar and big, bright CTAs.

There is also a prominent click-to-call button at the top of the screen so users can bail out and speak to someone if they get stuck.

                 

Debenhams

Debenhams offers a guest checkout, a postcode finder, assumes the same address for billing and delivery, and has excellent CTAs. Plus its pages are short and quick to load.

It would benefit from implementing a progress bar, plus the rest of the mobile site needs a bit of care and attention, but then nobody's perfect.

                 

Best Buy

There are only three screens to get through until payment is complete on Best Buy’s checkout, which has a user-friendly layout with plenty of white space.

Some of the buttons would benefit from being made bigger, but in general it’s a quick and easy checkout.

             

Reiss

There are a lot of problems with Reiss’s rather fiddly mobile site, but I’ve included it here as it has one excellent feature – a real-time address finder.

As you type the first line of an address Reiss’ checkout predicts what it will be using data from Postcode Anywhere. It makes entering your address extremely simple, which is a bonus on mobile.

There are one or two other useful features such as a progress bar and PayPal, but really Reiss has a bit of work to do.

                 

Walmart

Walmart’s checkout offers an excellent user experience with plenty of white space and big, bright CTAs.

The guest checkout option means there are only three or four screens to get through until a purchase is completed.

One minor complaint would be the lack of a progress indicator.

                 

H&M

H&M commits the cardinal sin of forcing new users to register, but there's also a lot to like about its mobile checkout.

Simple forms, big buttons, a great basket summary, and every step is clearly explained along the way.

                 

David Moth

Published 24 September, 2014 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Depesh Mandalia, CEO & Founder at SM Commerce

All great examples. One item I'd call out is the security/trust factor on the JL mobile checkout. It's a small piece of info in the footer area but provides a reminder to their customers that their details are safe.

I don't think all users automatically connect safe 'HTTPS/SSL' websites and the green indicators, padlocks in the address bar etc with the mobile experience where often as your screens show, the address bar is auto-hidden and nothing else generally provides visual feedback that the connection is secure and your data 'safe'.

It's an important consideration for mobile apps too.

about 3 years ago

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Adam

All good examples of how important it is to make things work well on small screens!

My area of expertise is the postcode lookup / address validation part (I work for Crafty Clicks).

You mention that you are a fan of the predictive address entry on Reiss checkout. Would you not agree that the approach taken by John Levis and AO will take fewer keystrokes and thus be faster?

I think that in terms of speed, the tried and tested postcode lookup is a better choice than predictive. We should be careful not to go for eye-candy that looks fancy, but doesn't boost usability.

Cheers,
Adam

about 3 years ago

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Deri Jones, CEO at SciVisum Ltd

Always nice to see a client listed in a top-10 - even if I can't claim any credit!

Adam - I tend to agree with your cauition on address prediction: coming at it from a speed perspective: a doesn't take much 3G latency, and the user is still seeing a predictive list that no longer matches at all, what they have typed.

It seems rather crazy to be trying to pattern match when all you've entered of your address is '33 Ti' ! In fact, it matches on your first character.

There are just too many street matches for any chance that your own address appears in the visible top 10, if you have only entered one (or four) characters. It just distracts the user.

Wonder why Reiss chose not to wait for a few more characters, before sending you matches?
Or why they don't ask for the town first: which would be a help.

Although, I tried entering a town first: it quickly helped me choose 'cambridge' after I'd typed just 'cam':
But bizarrely after i selected 'cambridge': it left the field showing just 'cam' and now popped up a new list of predictive text choices, that are just single letters -alphabetic: from A B C and down the page.

Visually, my immediate thought was something had gone wrong, so tried to delete some letters from 'cam' so as to reenter.
The same happened: and only then did I realise that the page had already taken-on board my desire for 'cambridge' (without viually telling me that) ; and was now asking me for a street name.... (but again without letting me know that was happening.

Not a nice address entry experience.
But I guess for reguar Reiss users, they will know what to do, next time.

about 3 years ago

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Adam Stylo, Director at Crafty Clicks Ltd

Deri - yep, contrast that with John Lewis checkout : start with house number + postcode and you are likely to be past the address entry within 9 or 10 keystrokes in total. Hard to beat I think.

about 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at Econsultancy

Thanks for your comments.

On the postcode issue, I had used the Reiss desktop checkout before so I knew the drill. However I still think it's a neat feature, as you can get the whole address from typing into a single field, whereas with the postcode tool you have to click to two different text fields (house no. and postcode), then click 'lookup', wait for it to load, then scroll through the list of addresses to find your home.

Both have potential issues, and to be honest I don't have a preference for either one. I guess you should maybe go with what customers are more familiar with, which is probably the John Lewis method.

about 3 years ago

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Susanne McCabe

Great article and a good summary of features to look for in a mobile checkout. In case the customer has questions or doubts about their purchase, a click to call button should also be present and easy to find. Some of the websites above do this very poorly. Top Shop didn't have one at all. Reiss was a good example of making it simple, but AO did the best job with a really obvious button, right at the top of the home screen.

about 3 years ago

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Sam Healey, Ecommerce Executive at Little Bundles

Hi.

When you say to provide Security reassurance and Progress indicators, what evidence do you have of this?

I've read case studies where security logos had a negative impact as customers didn't feel risk before starting the checkout process but seeing security logos/messages/terms during the process gave customers need for concern.

I've also seen that progress indicators have a negative result. When a user starts the process without the indicators they infer that there is only one form. When they are then presented with another form they are likely to stay as they have already put in effort/time. Rather than seeing that there is a long process and abandoning at the beginning.

almost 3 years ago

David Moth

David Moth, Editor & Head of Social at Econsultancy

Hi Sam,

I’d certainly be interested to see those studies - david.moth@econsultancy.com

There’s still a large proportion of people who are wary of shopping online so security reassurances are necessary to allay their fears. It’s also something that people have come to expect to see.

It will vary depending on who your target audience is, but in general it’s better to have security reassurances than to not have them.

I’ve never seen any studies or research to suggest that progress indicators are a bad idea. They let people know upfront how many forms they’ll have to fill in, which to me can only be a good thing as it means shoppers won’t get frustrated when presented with yet another form.

almost 3 years ago

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